Jul 31, 2015


Smart Parenting Tip: How to Survive Running Errands with Kids

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Shopping.  Fun.

Shopping with pequeñitos?  Not so much.

Like many mamas out there, I often find myself shopping (especially grocery shopping) with my little ones in tow.  For the most part they are good, but there are times I end up running more errands than they can handle.  After several stops, they start feeling the stress and boredom of it all.  (Who wouldn’t?) That’s when the “Mami I’m tired” or “Mami I want to go home” and even better, “Mami, she’s pushing me!” “No, he’s the one that started it!” begins.

Oh yes, I’m sure some of you can relate.  But I have a special tool!  Once those little words start coming out of their little mouths I bring out the Five Points Game.  What the heck is the Five Point Game, you might ask?  Well, it’s a super smart parenting technique that I’ve learned and want to pass along to you.  Here’s the gist of it…

Smart Parenting: The Five Points Game

When I begin to notice that the little ones are getting burnt out from me dragging them around from errand to errand, I bring out this lifesaver of a game!  Each child begin’s the game with five points.  The purpose of the game is to try and keep all five of their points throughout our shopping trip.  If they complain, a point will be taken away.  Fight with their sibling, another point taken away.  And so on.  But just like points can be taken away, they also can be earned.  If they help me find a product, they get a point.  When they say something nice to me, someone else, or their sibling, another point is earned.

At the end of the trip, if they were able to keep those five points they get a reward.  The reward can be anything from a small healthy treat, to a trip to the local ice cream parlor.  Really, it all depends on how much I am asking of them.  If they don’t there is no punishment, because I am not looking to punish, just to keep the calm.

My ultimate goal is to keep them (and me for that matter) from getting frustrated and keep their behavior (and mine) from spiraling out of control.  As an added plus, this game also helps them to become more aware of their actions and learn a little bit of math!  ;)


So far, our Five Points game has been working for us, maybe it will work for you. Maybe it won’t. One thing for sure is that as they get older new games will need to be invented.

Other smart parenting tips to help keep the kiddies entertained:

  • Books!  If I know that the store I am in has books, that is the first place we head to.  I let them pick out a few and have them go through them while I shop.
  • Get them involved in the shopping.  Things like letting them hold the produce bag while I fill it, or counting how many apples I am putting in.
  • Play I Spy.

Do you have a smart parenting tip?  Share it with us!


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Lisa Renata is a proud multicultural Latina of Mexican, German and Japanese descent. She holds a degree in cultural Anthropology and is a certified Interpreter. She is also the creator of SaboraCajeta.com, where she shares her craft ideas, and her passion for sewing and photography.

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  1. Love it! Going to try this on my next shopping trip! Thank you…

  2. I can’t wait to try this game out on my son. Once he understands the rules I will give them a try.

  3. I need to try the points. Seems like to keep everyone behaving without the nagging or screaming.

  4. I’m totally writing this one down and also sharing via email with friends who have kids. Great tips!

  5. Smart Mami…it works because it isn’t bribing..it is empowering.

  6. Good tip, Lisa! … My kids are older now so I don’t need it anymore, but boy do I remember very long games of “I Spy” … jajajaja

  7. Lisa Renata says:

    Thanks everyone. If you try it, come back and let us know if it worked for you.

  8. Very smart! I used to play caritas felices with them, and the one with more happy faces won a prize. They tried to behave in order to get a happy face, not always successfully, though…lol.

  9. I don’t have children, but believe these 5 Point tips are versatile enough to use with Boyfriend…

  10. I don’t have children but think these 5 Point Tips are versatile enough to use on a shopping trip with Boyfriend…

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